We may be imagining all sorts of problems that may or may not exist or we re rationalising our own boundaries, values, and even prior experiences of being in one of these situations (so knowing that we may struggle with the emotional consequences) and are thinking along the lines of, Well I m of a certain age so I need to prepare myself for turning a blind eye to any code amber / red actions and indications because people in this age group tend to be recently broken up / separated / divorced. OK. There s no easy answer to the question of what the right time is for dating a separated or recently divorced person. What you have to keep in mind is that separated is still married until the divorce is finalised and that means that there s likely to be emotional as well as legal ties. It would be handy if we could avoid the vulnerability that comes with doing the due diligence and taking appropriate action where needed. Each situation is different but what you can say with a high degree of certainty is that someone who s just fallen out of their marriage, who s still in reconciliation negotiations, who s still very influenced by their spouse, and who has been separated for a long time just because, is going to bring pain into your life. Same goes for someone who s not over their divorce and has beliefs that affect their ability to be committed. I personally know people who have gotten together while one party was separated, and in one case the wife refused to sign so they had to wait for it to lapse and got married as soon as it did a few years later, and in the other instances where it worked out, there was no faffing about with the divorce, Future Faking etc.


In the situations where it didn t work, the separated party overestimated their readiness and actually, part of the reason they dated had been to avoid their feelings about the demise of their marriage. Avoid falling into the trap of not seeing the wood for the trees: There are  people left brokenhearted due to being involved with partners who were still affected by a breakup or divorce that happened anything from months to decades before. That s what we need to look for. It s not about judging a person for being separated or divorced it s about judging the  overall situation and working out whether it fits with who we are and where we re headed. The experience over time that we spend with a person means that we get to see if actions and words match and whether what we thought or they suggested was on the cards is actually happening. Yes it s a risk but it s little more risk than in any other dating situation. That said, keep in mind the following: 6. 7. Definitely don t assume that because they re separated or divorced that have a PhD in commitment or that you ll get the same. All it means is that they ve been married. And that it ended. 8. 9. Is this what you want to be in the middle of? You can of course chance your arm but then you have to back away when it becomes clear that the ex files haven t been closed. 5. If you ve already determined your boundary on this issue, don t bust it, live it.

I know of quite a few people who were told to wait and come back when they d had some more time/got divorced. Now of course, a person who is avoiding their feelings will just find someone else to avoid them with but somebody who is genuinely interested in you and wants to start off on a good footing won t mind respecting your wishes at least they ll know that they re pursuing something with you because it s you they want to be with as opposed to seeking a distraction that s going to backfire when they realise that they re unavailable. 7. Don t enter into an involvement with your emotional airbag inflated. If your interest tends to get piqued by being a buffer to someone who is transitioning, it would be more beneficial to evaluate why this is attractive to you. You camouflaging their issues is only causing you to blend into the background of your own life. If you ve typically been a Fallback option, it s best to steer clear of these situations unless you re absolutely certain that whatever contributed to your previous habits has now changed. These will be self-evident you won t need to pull out your magnifying glass, start making things up or coming up with rationalisations. Hi, I’m Natalie! Baggage Reclaim is a guide to learning to live and love with self-esteem by breaking the patterns that stand in your way. I m so weak, I love him so much I can t run. He did start counseling. He does intellectually understand he won t get it so hopefully the counseling will help him find the peace he is looking for to really move past this, and help him figure out why he needs such acknowledgement in the first place. Thanks so much for respondingIf you think you can handle it, try the suck-it-and-see approach and help him through his counselling, but don t be the fallback girl. My ex was going through a clinical depression stage and I stuck by him. He eventually used me when he was down and as soon as he was better it was off to new women! I thought I was giving him all the love he needed through his recovery, but he really just needed a doormat while he planned his next sexual misadventure. If he needs the closure, it is important for him to find it on his own. Maybe you should try loving him from a distance (if you re convinced he is IT ).

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And wait until he is better. Why advise Mary to try a method that clearly didn t work in your example? Not helpful. She needs to cut her losses. Period. However, he is acting like a man who does not know what he wants and is treating you like an OPTION. I did this dance for over 7 years with a separated then newly divorced man who blew hot and cold and waffled about loving me or being so angry about his ex and he still broke up with me after all my caring and compassion. You MUST walk now! It won t get better just worse. The first 8 months were the honeymoon period (as with my ex -bf) and then after that you keep trying to recapture the guy that sucked you under and he is not the same. Please don t wast as much time as I did with someone who can t decide on you. You deserve so much more. I finally realized I do too! All I can say is, hon, you ain t responsible for healing or helping him. I m a sucker (well used to be) for any sickly, whiny man that bats his big, infantile eyes at me in such a way that just BEGS me to be his mommy but when we re all adults, that get s real weird. Oftentimes the taking care is enabling (not saying you are but it can go this way). Take care and please read Nat s posts on boundaries, emotional airbag, etc, and basically any issues you are dealing with. Grace-I know you are right, I need to know when to draw that line for myself. Why am I so hesitant to do that.

So fearful like I m not worth it I guess if I stand up for myself. Pathetic 🙁I definitely think y all breaking up is connected to him talking to his ex. Also, re: the I KNOW IT S YOU, that sounds to me full of ambiguity, as though he is trying to convince himself he knows it s you. Stop martyring yourself for this man. You deserve someone who wants to be with you 655%. Forget him and his ridiculous issues with the narc ex and go out and find a man who will actually appreciate the wonderful woman he is actually WITH. Thanks snowboard. It has to be related to her she is seeking something from him and he is prob going to go back and think she will not abuse him this time. I know, he has to accept she hasn t changed when he is ready to. What gets me is I asked him straight up for the truth, just tell me! ! (because truthfully it d be (a bit) easier to move on if he told me he was choosing to go back to that nightmare even after all he s read and learned about narcissism). I don t wish anyone that pain and yet part of me hopes she shows her true colors quickly (which will hurt him) and I do pray that his new knowledge of narcissism pushes him to get out once and for all. It s so hard to have him always say how wonderful and sweet and kind I was to him and have him prefer this shrew who verbally, emotionally abused him. Just really hard to feel good about myself if being a good person doesnt matter. You have to stop being concerned with him, and be concerned with yourself. What he did was not very nice. Time to think about what he did to you.

Hey Mary, just so you know, what happened has nothing to do with you. Whatever this guy is telling you, it just reeks of BS. I understand how hurt you are and these painful situations can make you obsess on all kinds of stuff and the why, why, why? You will never get this guy to treat you the way he used to, that guy doesn t exist. I don t know if you are aware of this but narcissists do attract each other and he could very well be one too. Whether he is or not, ask yourself where is his empathy for you? I am not going to tell you what to do, but that you are in the state you are in over this guy speaks volumes. That you are here at BR is great. Start reading, you sound like you might need some boundary work. Take care of yourself first and get out of the crazymaking cycle by focusing on you. I wish you peace, you are going to be ok. Thank you Allison and Lucky Charms! I know I absolutely need to look at my own co dependency and stop fixating on him and the whys. It s so hard to accept there is Nothing I can do, No way that I can somehow be to make this work. But I do know that. What he does- or doesn t do about healing is on him. I appreciate everyone s support 🙂Hi mymble, I appreciate your experience but I have had many interactions with a number of others via him (they all know each other thru a large business enterprise) and the consensus is unanimous- she is a narcissist. But in any case you are right and I ve been too involved in the mess of his past. What he chooses to do now is not my concern.

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